Many Nebraska school leaders are in a quandry as they try to make budgets for the upcoming school year without knowing how much state aid may be coming. Legislators are struggling with potential cuts to education to make up for a massive projected shortfall.
Randy Anderson, superintendent for the Crofton and Hartington school districts, says it’s a difficult situation for everyone.
“We’re not sure where we’re going to be at with our state aid,” Anderson says. “We don’t know where we’ll be with our expenditures, if there will be a lid placed on our expenditures again. Notification to us will be well into our budget year, building our budgets, probably somewhere in July.”
Anderson says he doesn’t want to see anyone have to be fired. “We’re trying to make plans right now to keep our staff in force, everyone in force, no reductions at this time,” he says. “If we’re going to make reductions, we must make those on or before April 15.”
Anderson says so far, he has been giving his boards as much budget information as possible. “The quality of our educational programs depends on our staffs,” he says. “We’re working hard to maintain that staff ratio as we have in the past.”
Anderson says they can make cuts to things -other- than the staff, in areas like transportation or technology.
He says, “We’re postponing education to students in that sense, when we have to make cuts like that, but if we cut staff, than we’re making the wrong cuts into what we’re trying to do.”
Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton